The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 4:38-5:11 ~ Jesus Heals the Sick That Tells Us Of Our Forgiveness of Sin, Resurrection, and Service Towards God ~ Jesus Continues to Demonstrate His Authority by Exercising Demons, Controlling Creation, and Selecting Disciples

Vol. 18, No. 27 – July 21, 2019

7 21 19 - Luke 4 vs 38-44 - The Word -Jesus demonstrate His authority by exercising demons, controlling creation, and selecting disciples(39)The Gospel of Luke
Chapter 4

III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14 – 9:50.

A. The Announcement of His Ministry, Luke 4:14-30.

B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.

1. Over demons, Luke 4:31-37.

2. Over disease, Luke 4:38-44.

In this narrative, we see Jesus’ proof and authority of His claims and ministry by healing the sick and exercising more demons possessing men. The parallel passages are found in Mat 4:14-17; Mark 1:29-39.

Vs. 38

Luke 4:38, “Then He got up (ANISTEMI) and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help (about) her.”

Jesus getting up uses the Word ANISTEMI that is also used throughout the NT for the literal action and more importantly, for the resurrection of believers. May this be a clue regarding a sublime meaning behind these actions?

Here, Jesus enters the home of Simon. This was a more personal encounter than an open / public one. The first person Luke tells us Jesus heals was the mother-in-law (PENTHERA) of Simon whose name Jesus would change to Peter. The parallel Gospel accounts give us that detail, cf. Mat 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31. Mark gives essentially the same information as Luke, but Mark adds that it was “the house of Simon and Andrew,” who is Peter’s brother, and that James and John were with Jesus. Perhaps Luke does not mention James and John because he has not told of their call at this point in his Gospel, and as mentioned above, Luke does not give the details of the calling of the apostles, as the other Gospels do.

In any case, this is the first mention of one of the apostles in Luke’s account. From the other Gospels, we know that Jesus would go on to select the 12 disciples and give them the authority to exercise demons and heal the sick too, Mat 10:1, 5-8. This also tells us that Peter had a wife, cf. 1 Cor 9:5.

Was suffering” uses the Greek Imperfect, Active, Indicative of the Verbs EIMI, “was,” and the Present, Passive, Participle of the Verb SUNECHO, συνέχω that means, “hold fast, restrain, enclose; constrain, compel, press, or pressure.” Its root ECHO means, “to have and to hold,” with the prefix SUN for “with.” Its basic sense is that of two things holding or pressing together, perhaps with something caught in the middle. So, it can range from holding two things together (coupling), to holding someone prisoner (restraining), to being gripped with an inner pressure (constraint). Figuratively, it is used for the sick who were in the grip of (captive to) their illnesses, Mat 4:24; Luke 4:38; Acts 28:8. Therefore, this correlates to Jesus’ proclamation in vs. 18, from Isa 61:1, “to release the captives.”

The thing that held this woman captive was “a fever,” PURETOS, πυρετός that is used here and vs. 39, and for this narrative in Mat 8:15; Mark 1:31. It is also used in John 4:52; Acts 28:8. From the word PUR, “fire,” it is a common word for fiery or burning heat and specifically a “fever.”  Luke says the fever was MEGAS or “great,” meaning a very high fever. This might have been a fever due to having malaria that was common in Palestine in that day.

Because of her grave condition, Simon and others “asked,” EROTAO, “ask or requested,” Jesus to help her condition, knowing that He was able to heal. EROTAO is generally more conversational than other words for “asking” or “petitioning” someone, and at times may express a more intimate relation between the parties than its synonym AITEO does. In the NT, it is a word associated with the prayer life. And in fact, when Jesus prayed to God the Father, He always used EROTAO, cf. John 14:16, whereas the disciples used AITEO in their prayers to God. In this case, this was an intercessory petition, a request on behalf of someone else.

Asking for help is a demonstration of your faith in someone to fulfill your request. Therefore, when we ask God for things of need, we are demonstrating our faith in Him, just as Simon and the others demonstrated their faith in Jesus here.

Later, in Mark 9:14-29, when the disciples could not exercise a demon from possessing a boy, Jesus told them in vs. 29, that “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” The lesson here was not primarily about prayer, but about having faith in God for all things that is demonstrated in your prayer life, cf. vs. 23, “All things are possible to him who believes.”

So, we see Simon / Peter and the others demonstrating positive volition faithfully towards God by petitioning Jesus to heal Simon’s mother-in-law.

Vs. 39

Luke 4:39, “And standing (EPISTEMI) over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them.”

Here, Jesus “rebuked,” (EPITIMAO, cf. vs. 35, “rebuke, censure, warn, admonish.”), “the fever,” (PURETOS), of this woman, just as He “rebuked” the demons not to speak prior to their exorcism. He will also rebuke more possessing demons not to speak upon exorcism in vs. 41. Given that “rebuke,” EPITIMAO, is only used in association to persons, (i.e., human or evil spirits), except here towards an illness and in Luke 8:24, regarding the wind of the great storm, this may have been an illness brought on by a demon, maybe even demon possession, just as the storm may have been brought on by a demon, cf. Rev 7:1.

After Jesus admonished the fever, “it left her,” which uses the Verb APHIEMI ἀφίημι, that means, “let go, leave, to disregard, leave behind, dismiss, divorce, cancel, pardon, remit, forgive, or abandon.” Interestingly, this word is used for “forgiveness” throughout the NT.

As we have been noting, the scenes in this chapter are a microcosm of Jesus’ entire ministry culminating at the Cross, were the forgiveness of our sins was won. Therefore, in the exorcism of the demons and healing of the sick, we see the analogy of the forgiveness of our sins, the greater healing, that frees us from sin and Satan’s cosmic system.

The term “rebuke” demonstrates Jesus’ power and authority over things including, as here, illnesses and diseases. The Creator of the heavens and earth certainly has authority over all of His creation, including those bits that cause illnesses and sicknesses like germs, bacteria, etc.

That this was a miraculous healing is noted by the speed of her recovery and subsequent service, as we see the demonstration of a beautiful, faithful, and thankful Christian woman. “Immediately,” PARACHREMA, upon her healing, she “gets up,” ANISTEMI, (a word for resurrection), and begins to “wait on or serve,” DIAKONEO, (where we get the word “deacon” from), Jesus and the others.

Once again, notice the use of ANISTEMI here, and in our Lord’s “getting up,” in vs. 38. Well, this is the word that is also often used throughout the NT for “resurrection.” In both instances, this is a demonstration of the “resurrection life” we have been given post conversion / salvation, and should be living while here on earth.

This is a picture of what our spiritual life should be. Upon the forgiveness of our sins at the moment of our conversion / salvation, when we also receive the new unique resurrection life of the Church Age in Christ, our primary function should be serving God and others too.

Rom 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

Rom 6:4, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 

Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Therefore, as Jesus removes this illness from Peter’s mother-in-law, it was a precursor to the removal of sin for the believer because of the Cross of Jesus Christ. The removal of sin then gives the believer a new life in Christ, which should be marked by service and worship towards God and service towards others as well. As Jesus “led captive a host of captives” in Eph 4:8, He also “gave gifts to men,” for the service and worship of God, and service towards others. He also was giving a precursor to the resurrection, ANISTEMI, which believers will receive upon His Second Coming. So, this was more than just a miracle of healing, it had great meaning regarding Jesus’ overall ministry culminating at the Cross, and for what our attitude and service should be post salvation.

Vs. 40

Luke 4:40, “While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them.”

The parallels to these verses are found in Mat 8:16-17; Mark 1:32-34.

“While the sun was setting,” indicates the end of the Sabbath day. The sick could not be carried on the Sabbath, so we see that the people waited until the Sabbath was over.

Sick,” is Verb ASTHENEO, ἀσθενέω that means, “be sick, weak, unhealthy, or be in need,” and “diseases” is the Noun NOSOS νόσος that means, “illness, sickness, or disease.” The latter is where we get our English word “nausea” from.

NOSOS is used synonymously with the other general terms for sickness in passages that describe Jesus’ healing ministry such as, MALAKIA, MASTIX, ASTHENEIA, and the Verb ASTHENEŌ.

“In the OT, illness is almost always considered from a religious point of view. Primary interest is not on the physical causes of illness nor its diagnosis, but rather on the relationship existing between God—who is Master of illness and health, life and death—and the one who is ill. In Israelite thought, illness was an evil and contrary to nature, something out of place in God’s creation. But if sickness and weakness did affect human life, some believed it was because of sin. Mankind incurred God’s wrath because of sin, and consequently, is under the power of evil forces. Thus, suffering and illness were seen as ordinary conditions for a fallen and sinful mankind.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)

Yet, Jesus strongly opposed the teaching that sickness and disaster always occur as punishment for particular sins, cf. Luke 13:1ff. Regarding the man who had been born blind Jesus said in John 9:3, “Neither has this man sinned nor his parents.” This does not mean Jesus did not believe these people were sinners; rather, it emphasizes that this man’s blindness was not a direct result of any particular sin, which he or his parents may have committed.

None-the-less, regarding Hebrew thought of the day, the origin of illness can be traced back to the Fall. Death entered the world as a direct result of sin, and to the Hebrews illness merely signaled the beginning of death. So sin and death and sickness were closely related. Therefore, by healing those who were sick “due to sin,” Jesus demonstrated over and over again that He had the power to heal from sickness and sin, which spoke of His Cross.

“Perhaps the most significant use of nosos is in Matthew 8:17 where Isaiah 53:4 is quoted in a quite literal Greek translation of the Hebrew. Matthew was inspired to choose nosos and astheneia instead of the Septuagint’s “sin and hardships.” The message here is that Jesus is the Messiah who provides deliverance from sickness and all effects of the Fall by taking the root cause—the sin of the world—on himself. This and the other uses of nosos serve as a reminder that though Christians may suffer the common experience of disease in this fallen world, God has provided for healing in Christ’s atonement as one of the benefits of His many-faceted grace.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Sickness is also related to resurrection. “Perfect health belongs to the realm of eternity and cannot be achieved in the present life. This is why the Scriptures state that at the return of Christ the bodies of the believers will be changed “so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21, NIV). At the resurrection the mortal will clothe itself with the immortal (1 Corinthians 15:53). In the eternal state there is no death, sorrow, or suffering (Revelation 21:4), and the leaves of the tree of life will be for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2).” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

So, we see the links between sickness, sin, the Cross, and resurrection in Jesus’ healing ministry that demonstrated His power towards them all as the Messiah for our benefit. As a result, we should be gratefully serving and worship Him!

Laying His hands,” shows us one of the many ways Jesus healed that sometimes included just speaking the word. The method was not the issue, but faith in God. Nevertheless, in this case, He laid His hands upon those who were diseased. This was His usual method, Mark 5:23; 6:5; Luke 5:13; 13:13. The significance of this was to symbolically show the removal of the illness from the person by transferring the disease into Jesus and the subsequent flow of Divine power from Jesus to the person for healing. This was significant to the Israelite, as their sacrifices for sin had a “laying on of hands” to indicate the transfer of sin from the human to the animal, where the animal would then give its life to pay for the sin. In addition, the human would receive forgiveness of sin. As we noted above, illness is the direct result of sin being in the world, so this shows how Jesus would take upon Himself the sins of the world and give His life for those sins. All those that believer upon Him would then be forgiven or healed from their sins and receive eternal resurrection life.

“He was healing them,” uses the same Verb as in vs. 23, for the mocking “Physician heal yourself,” which is THERAPEUO, θεραπεύω that can mean, “serve, care for, or heal.” Notice that this word has the notion of “serving” in it, as we noted the importance of serving God and others above.

In ancient Greek, ordinarily and originally it meant, “I serve.” Gradually the term suggested “to care” for someone, and finally it acquired the definition of “to heal” or “to render medical treatment.” And, the sense of “to serve,” could include serving a deity. In the NT, the Gospels emphasize the “healing” aspect, but in most instances it was in relation to serving God. Acts 17:25, uses it strictly for service. The Synoptic Gospels are responsible for 35 instances of THERAPEUO; 5 are found in Acts, 1 in John, and 2 in Revelation.

As such, we see that Jesus served all of mankind by taking on our sins and giving us healing/forgiveness of our sins.

In addition, Matthew’s Gospel mentions the fulfillment of prophecy as the purpose for Jesus’ healing campaign, cf. Mat 8:17; Isa 53:4, i.e., to take our infirmities.

Isa 53:4, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Mat 8:17, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES’.”

The effects of Jesus’ and the disciples healing were not the results of medical treatment, but the supernatural power of God, cf. Luke 8:43. And, Jesus’ power to heal was a challenging confrontation of His Messiahship, cf. Luke 7:21 with Luke 4:18-19.

Luke 7:21, “At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.” Cf. Luke 4:18.

Finally, it was a part of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ / the Kingdom of God, Luke 9:6; Mat 9:35. Jesus’ healings demonstrated that He had broken the power of sin and Satan, cf. Luke 10:17-18, and that the kingdom of God had arrived for all to receive, Luke 10:9; 11:20.

Vs. 41

Luke 4:41, “Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.” Cf. Mat 8:16-17; Mark 1:34.

Mark 1:34, “And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.”

Mat 8:16-17, “When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. 17This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES’.”

As noted above, and in the Complete Biblical Library commentary on this passage, “Jesus refused to allow the demons to announce His true identity lest the people should become emotionally charged to the point of forcing a confrontation with imperial Rome. There were Zealots and revolutionaries who were more than ready to rally around a political messiah and champion his cause. Palestine was constantly in a state of unrest. Rebellion against the Romans seemed inevitable. Jesus did not come to run for political office; He came to alleviate human suffering and to atone for the sins of the world (cf. Matthew 8:4). Regardless of the demonic witness to His divinity, He was indeed the Christ. He prohibited their proclamations, but He never denied the truth of their statement. His desire was for private citizens to share this knowledge with their family and friends. Certainly one may ask if demons recognize Him, should not people possess the ability to discern His uniqueness?” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Vs. 42

Luke 4:42, “When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them.”

After teaching, healing, and exercising demons throughout the night, a humanly exhausted, both physically and mentally, Jesus withdrew from the people to a “secluded place,” EREMOS, “desolate, abounded, desert, or solitary place,” cf. Luke 1:80; 3:2, 4; 4:1, to get a moments rest. Mark 1:35, tells us He also needed this for an opportunity to pray, cf., Luke 5:16.


When you are physically and mentally exhausted, pray to the Father and He will help you to “recharge your batteries” first spiritually, then mentally, then physically.

But, then we see the crowds would not give Him much rest, as they were “searching for Him,” EPIZETEO, ἐπιζητέω, “search for, seek after, desire to know.” With the prefix EPI added, this is the intensification of ZETEO, “seek, look for, wish for, desire, inquire into or about.” They were intently seeking Him out, because they had more to be healed.

This word, along with the action of “tried to keep Him from going away from them,” that employs KATECHO “to hold back, hinder, prevent, restrain, etc.” and the Verb POREUOMAI that means, “to go, depart, travel, etc.,” utilized common words from the LXX of the OT that speak to Israel not possessing what they were seeking, especially the “promised land.”

Therefore, Luke uses these words to indicate that these people were seeking for the wrong things from Jesus. Instead of seeking Him out for the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation, they were seeking Him to heal physically. Their looking for the wrong things, goes along with the reason Jesus commanded the demons not to speak, because their testimony would have led the people, in an even greater sense, to look to Jesus to rescue them from their Roman occupiers. Yet, Jesus came to rescue them from sin, which was the message behind all of the miracles He performed. That is why Jesus responded as such in the next two verses.

Vs. 43-44

Luke 4:43-44, “But He said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.’ 44So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”

Here, Jesus states the main purpose of His mission, “to preach,” is the Verb EUANGELIZO once again and means, “bringing or announcing good news, proclaiming, or preaching (the gospel),” as compared to KERUSSON in vs. 44, that simply means, “proclaim, preach, or announce.” So, it is more than just preaching, it is the announcement that salvation has come in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It means, “the gospel” is taught. Jesus stated, “I must,” DEI that also means, “it is necessary.” This was His mission and purpose.

In preaching the gospel, Jesus announced that the “kingdom of God,” BASILEIA HO THEOS, was now available to all. As we noted above, the gospel message and announcement of the availability of the “kingdom of God” are synonymous. The latter was more appropriate for Hebrew ears and thought! The kingdom of God is both a present reality and a future event, Luke 11:20; 17:20, 21; 19:11; 21:31.

“For I was sent for this purpose,” uses APOSTELLO in the Aorist, Passive, Indicative to show that Jesus recognizes that God the Father commissioned Him to deliver this message to the people of Israel, “Judea,” IOUDAIA. Some later translations use “Galilee” here, but the earlier ones have IOUDAIA.

Even though He was currently in Galilee, He spoke of the greater territory that He was ordered to witness His Gospel to; throughout all of Israel, as the first map below shows the territory of Judea as a result of the Maccabee rebellion. Later, the Romans would carve out Judea as the area west of the Dead Sea; see map 2.

The incidents recorded next in Chapter 5 and beyond, took place not only in Capernaum but in other cities of Israel, as well.

We now turn to Chapter 5. In this chapter, we are continuing the study of Jesus presenting Himself as the King-Messiah to the people of Israel. We are seeing His ministry as the Son of Man presented to mankind. In that, we have four sections to note:

3. Demonstrating His authority over the Disciples, by selecting four of them along with the miracle of catching much fish, Luke 5:1-11.

4. Demonstrating His authority over Defilement, by healing a leper, Luke 5:12-16.

5. Demonstrating His authority over Defectiveness, by healing a paralytic and discussing the forgiveness of sin, Luke 5:17-26.

6. Demonstrating His authority over the Despised, in the call of Matthew, dinning with sinners, and the parables about old vs. new, Luke 5:27-39.

We begin with: 3. “Demonstrating His authority over the Disciples, by selecting four of them along with the miracle of catching much fish, Luke 5:1-11.”

As we have noted, Luke does not go into detail regarding the selection of the 12 disciples, as do the other gospels. He notes it in passing, because he is focusing on telling the story of Jesus. But, in vs. 1-11, we see the first 4 disciples called by Jesus, Simon-Peter, his broth Andrew, and another pair of brothers James and John.  The other gospels speak about this episode in Luke in Mat 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; John 1:40-42.

Sea of Galilee map 3 for Word 7 21 19In vs. 1, the “Sea of Gennesaret,” is LIMNE, λίμνη meaning, “lake or pool,” and GENNESARE, Γεννησαρέτ. Cf. Mar 14:34; Mark 6:53-54. It is another name for the Sea of Galilee and the Sea of Tiberius in John 21:1. The OT uses Chinnereth, KINAROTH, Num 34:11.

It is called “Galilee,” because the region by that name lies along its western shore; “Chinnereth,” meaning “harp,” because it is shaped like that instrument; “Lake of Gennesaret,” because the plain bearing that name touches it on the northwest as does a town; and “Sea of Tiberias,” because the city of that name, named after the Roman Emperor Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus, is on its southwestern shore.

The lake is approximately 14 miles long by 9 miles wide and lies in a depression that is 686 feet below sea level. The lake ranges from 80 to 160 feet in depth. The Jordan River enters the north end in a steep descent from a distance of 25 miles away and exits the south end towards its journey to the Dead Sea. It has an almost tropical climate. Today its shores are mostly deserted, except for Tiberias, which is a major tourist site. In Jesus’ day, 9 towns surrounded it, none with less than 15,000 people. Many of these towns were occupied with agriculture, boat building, and fishing as major industries.

After Jesus had taught the crowd and preached the Kingdom of God from just off the shore line in Peter’s boat, He instructed Peter to cast the net down once more. Peter in his bewilderment, agreed to cast the nets once again even though he had been fishing all night.


You never know what time of day or night, or even place you will be able to witness and evangelize. It is not always on the set time or date. Therefore, always be prepared.

Jesus once again, this time post resurrection, instructed them to cast their nets when prior they had been unsuccessful, John 21:6.

In vs. 5, when Peter replies to Jesus, he calls Him “Master,” EPISTATES, ἐπιστάτης that means, “master, overseer, superintendent, or administrator.” Only Luke uses this term in the NT, here and in Luke 8:24 twice; 8:45; 9:33, 46; 17:13. It means one in authority of any kind which produces an attitude of obedience. It is a translation from the Aramaic for “Rabbi,” cf. Luke 9:33 with Mark 9:5.

Peter used this term because he had known Jesus for about a year, and trusted Him and His teaching. Luke uses it to make the relationship concept clearer to his Hellenistic audience.  The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary notes, “The usage lends itself well to the situation portrayed in the Gospels, i.e., of a fellowship marked by a close personal relationship, yet filled with deep respect.

The other term usually employed, meaning “master or teacher,” is DIDASKALOS that is not used here.

When Peter says, “we worked hard,” Luke uses the Verb KOPIAO, κοπιάω that means, “become weary, fatigued, work hard, or labor.” It denotes both physical and mental effort. It does not necessarily signify the work itself as much as it describes the effect of the work.

This is the word Jesus used to invite those who are tired, those who are laboring, to come to Him for rest, Mat 11:28. Christians are called, “to work in the mission to proclaim God’s kingdom.” Thus, KOPIAO often appears in contexts of “gospel labor,” e.g., 2 Cor 11:23, 27; 1 Tim 4:10; 5:17; cf. 1 Cor 16:16; Phil 2:16.

So, the dual meaning is apropos to Peter and us. When we do our own work, from our flesh, we become tired and weary. Jesus invites those who are weary of the flesh to enter into His rest. Yet, the Christian life calls for our hard work, through Divine Good Production, to deliver the gospel message.

Notice that when they worked from their flesh, (i.e., human good), they produced nothing from their own labor, but when they obeyed Jesus, (i.e., Divine good), the catch was bountiful. This was a clear message to all of Israel, given their history, and to us as well.

Peter’s faith and positive volition in Jesus is demonstrated by his words in saying, “I will do as you say,” and by his actions, “letting down the nets.” Peter was the fisherman, Jesus was a carpenter. Jesus’ suggestion seemed unreasonable, but Peter showed his faith, love, and respect for Christ by not letting his better judgment, (that fishing in the day time is not the best time), hinder his obedience.


A faithful life is one where your words and actions complement each other, not contradict each other.

Many times God asks us to do what to us does not make sense or seems foolish, but in faith and obedience to God, we are to do as He instructs.

In vs 6-7, as a result of their faithfulness, they had a great catch. So, great they needed others to assist. Sometimes you cannot go it alone. In order to win many souls, we need to work together.

The great number of fish was another demonstration of Christ’s lordship over creation. Even the creatures of the sea obey His will.

“Note that the miracle did not occur apart from human agency. Peter and Andrew had to row out into the sea to the deep water and cast their net overboard. And the fish did not jump into the boat, the men had to haul them in. They even needed more help from their partners. They did the work; Jesus performed the miracle.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

In vs. 8, all of Peter’s experience told Peter it was humanly impossible to catch fish successfully in this lake during the late morning hours. He even protested that the time for catching fish was past, vs. 5. But when Peter saw the miracle, he fell down, utterly astonished at what had happened.

Saying he was a “sinful man,” is his confession that He had some doubt, even though He obeyed Jesus’ command. Saying, “depart from Me,” does not mean, “get out of here, leave!”, but means, “I am not worthy to be in your presence.”

Notice that Peter does not call Him Rabbi here, but “Lord,” KURIOS, a title for YHWH. We see a change in Peter’s attitude towards the Christ. He was seeing Him as the God-Man who came to take away the sins of the world. He no longer just saw Him as a great human teacher, but also as God incarnate.

In vs. 9, the cause of Peter’s and his companions’ “amazement,” THAMBOS, as we noted in Luke 4:36, was the fear which enveloped them. A literal translation is: “Astonishment seized him and all the ones with him.” They had never seen anything like this.

In vs. 10, Jesus calmed their anxiety with His oft repeated refrain, “fear not,” ME PHOBOS. He tells them to have faith in Him and if they do, they will be very successful in witnessing and evangelizing in their new occupation as “professional Christians.”

Mat 4:19; Mark 1:17, have the more famous line that Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you (become) fishers of men.

Interestingly, rather than fishing for fish that brings the living to death, they would be fishing for men, bringing them from death to life.

James is mentioned here, whose name in Hebrew is IAKOBOS which also means, “Jacob.”

Finally, in vs. 11, once they hit land, that was enough for the pair of brothers, who were in partnership of a fishing business. They dropped everything and left everything to follow Jesus, cf. Mat 4:20-22; 19:29; Mark 1:18-20; Luke 5:28.

Mat 19:29, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”

Jesus was now adding to His numbers so that His catch would be greater than if He just went it alone. In this way many more people would be “caught” for their souls’ sake.

You can learn more about Peter, Andrew, James, John, and the other disciples in our doctrine of the Apostles on our web site:

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#19-072 & 19-073

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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